Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TFI Presentation on 8/23/12

I had the privilege of attending a presentation by the Fellowship Initiative at the JP Morgan on the impact of the South Africa trip on their personality, and perspective on life. Here's a fundamental truth - it's hard to snap pictures and calmly shoot video with an IPAD if ones eyes are always tearing up with pure joy at seeing young men greatly increase their capability to do expository presentations.

Four teams did their presentations. The young men from The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) extensively traveled key areas in South Africa and engaged in community service. The TFI youngsters noticed the living conditions; visited historic sites and locales: Soweto, Kliptown; attended classes, seminars, and engaged in community work projects with the African Leadership Academy Program for two weeks. Upon their return to the states, the Fellowship Initiative created digital diaries, synthesizing their learning experiences.

August 23rd arrived. The young men made sure that they distributed hard copies of their journals along with making sure that all the members of their respective groups received final instructions.

Each team expressed awe regarding how adolescent young men in a land thousands of miles away were and are able to be positive change agents in their communities.Each young man reported how their experience changed their perspective on what is possible.

The presentations by the Fellowship Initiative were accompanied by PowerPoint, and video clips highlighting seminal moments in their trip. The five young men of McKee high school who are part of the intensive mentoring program known as the Fellowship Initiative are rising seniors and are witnesses to growth and maturation. Ms. Davis, the leader of the Fellowship Initiative, is the leader (center) responsible for advocating for the efficacy of the program to the company.

In the picture above, (from left to right) Tracey Cooper, Reggie Fredericks, Kin Choo Chung, Ms. Davis, Samuel Conteh, Kenneth Alphonso. Another key player is Ms. Twinkle Morgan (below in red) who is the coordinator of the weekly activities. She along with the team of mentors, such as Mr. Calvin Hadley, help to mold, support and shape the various weekly trips, weekend tutoring sessions; local and global traveling experiences.

25 young men entered South Africa with certain perceptions. 25 young men left South Africa, each experiencing "ah ha" moments. To quote Kenneth Alphonso's poem: Final Day in S.A.
I have changed from who I was 14 days ago
I have tasted humility
Felt the power of cooperation
During this duration
I have grown to love this nation
Through Ryan and ALA's help
I* have learned to look deep in myself
And to help those that need the help around me
Last night I found out that we can be the most precious cordiality -
The ones who shape the future
The ones who help others' light shine so that their light shines as well
One who exhibits the six qualities indicated on the plaque:
Integrity, Curiosity, Humility, Compassion, Diversity, Excellence
So as I get back to the present tense
I want to remind myself where I have been
To remind myself to jump the fence
The fence that blocks out our deepest sense
The sense of love for not just ourselves but our family and our nation
Because these are the ideas that have changed me on this vacation.


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